How to be English and do Marketing

This post was first published on my companion site The Tao of Business Development

Any English (or probably Brit for that matter, although the periphery always had to be better at staking its claim) of a certain age certainly has absorbed the “hide your light under a bushel” vibe. It’s just not classy to go out and “brag” is it?

Tyndale tralsated bowl as bushel 500yrs ago.Tyndale translated the Bible using “bushel” rather than bowl.

Well ironically that saying is from a parable where Jesus says that you should precisely not hide your light under a bushel (or under the bed or under a stand). Less historically at present in the 21stC world of information overload, even fellow Anglos have left their bushels behind and taken to the roof-tops with 100Watt stacks.

So what do you do? Abandon your principles and tell everyone how awesome you and your products are? Probably not. So what then?

Well the classic way around this dilemma is to talk/write a lot. To be helpful and educational and explain stuff and … and … and … and. Trouble is that approach needs a lot of your reader/listener’s time and attention. And as I wrote last week they only have one attention and everyone is after that so it’s nice if you can use their attention kindly and courteously.

And so the “how to be English and market in the 21stC” involves a reframe. There is no need to boast, no need to uber-hype. Just put your lamp on the table (not under it).

In the modern world, if you will out of those classic English virtues of courtesy and politeness we need to embrace 21stC Communication Essentials – Simplicity, Clarity, Brevity. To help your reader/listener get where you are coming from quickly. The old approach of “read between the lines” does, after all, require time to read, digest and work out what is implicit. An approach for a more civilised age of crosswords rather than tweets over breakfast.

So what do you need to be clear and succinct about? Let’s recap “The Tao Of BizDev – Marketing 101”:

1. As described in The 6 Stages in the Business Development Cascade:

a) Marketing must come before Sales (see The Buddha knew the importance of doing Marketing before Sales).

b) Marketing amounts to: (a) What is the message about your value? and (b) How are you getting it in front of potential buyers and arousing their interest?

2. Without the buyers attention you have no chance of getting his intention (to buy). In the 21stC as per Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, One Attention – Oh Dear … “If you have someone’s attention you have a very precious asset. You are very lucky. Use it well while you have it.”

3. In Marketing is about Spreading Ideas – as examples I quote “‘Fancy a beer?” … “Let’s build a better Facebook!”. Marketing is the spreading, the communication of simple, clear messages. We are communicating a message … not information. All too often I see lots of information on websites but have no clue about their message (other than “we are selling something…”).

Of course there can be many many messages in this context – if you have ten pages on your website you need a minimum of ten messages (not ten school essays with us English tend to default to (I do lol)) with an underlying message/set of brand values.

To pick a classic “starter for ten” which is a good test for all you English (and other modest folks from around the globe) 🙂 … what is your message…

…about who you are, what you do, why folks should listen/read, and when folks might benefit from your offering?

I’m Mike, I have thirty years business development experience from SmallCo to BigCo. I love helping folks turn the 21stC into opportunities to make their life easier and their clients’ lives better. Call me if you are feeling stressed, frustrated or in need of fresh ideas about business development.

One final hurdle which held me back for many years is the “who you are” bit. After all “Mike” is far more than that – that’s one aspect, one facet of “Mike-ness”. No-one told me the simple and vital missing link here. All messages are in a certain context. Actually all identity (or at least roles) is context dependent – with your parents you are “their child”, with your children you are “a parent”. So for me in the context of the above is the relevant message about Mike – I am not here to talk about parenting skills 🙂

Doers this make any sense to you? Does it help unlock doors and unblock stucknesses? Let me know 🙂

What is your clear and succinct summary? Or do you expect your potential buyers to work all that out for themselves? 😀


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